Ella Eastin Added to World Championships Roster; Baker Drops 200 IM

A day ahead of the official FINA deadline for entry changes, USA Swimming has unveiled its final roster for the 2019 World Championships.

While many of the biggest question-marks remain on the list (Jack Levant, Grant Shoults, and Nathan Adrian are all still entered, in spite of various medical issues), there was one big surprise change to the roster.

Recent Stanford graduate Ella Eastin has been added to the team with an entry to swim the 200 IM. Kathleen Baker, meanwhile, has dropped that race, and will swim just the 50, 100, and 200 backstroke individually at Worlds.

In April, Baker got sick, and the associated cough led to a rib fracture. This cost her a chunk of time out of the water, including skipping racing at the FINA Champions Series. She hasn’t raced since the French Golden Tour stop in mid-March, where she swam a 59.0 in the 100 back, a 2:10.6 in the 200 IM, and a 1:08.6 in the 100 breaststroke.

Baker was the 2018 World Short Course bronze medalist in the 200 IM. She was the top-ranked American in long course in 2018, with a 2:08.32 from Summer Nationals. She was a 2:11.26 in prelims at Pan Pacs, though, which ranked her 6th overall in that round and as the 3rd American (behind Eastin and Melanie Margalis). Baker wound up skipping the B final at that meet, though her time from Nationals was still good enough to carry her to an entry at Worlds.

Eastin, meanwhile, managed to qualify for Pan Pacs in spite of having been diagnosed with mononucleosis just a few weeks before Nationals. Her times ultimately qualified her for the World University Games, a second-tier international championship for Americans this summer, in the 200 IM. Eastin is in Naples with Team USA, and so will pull double duty this summer.

In the 2017-2018 long course season, Baker ranked 2nd in the world in the 200 IM behind Japan’s Yui Ohashi, while Easstin ranked 9th. Among Americans, Baker was #1, followed by Melanie Margalis (who will swim the race at Worlds), Madisyn Cox (whose 2:09.82 season best was done at a Pro Swim Series meet in March), and Eastin (season best – 2:09.90).

In This Story

Leave a Reply

Notify of
newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

Yes!!! Congrats Ella!!! Well deserved after two summers of heartbreak. Excited to see the 2IM in Gwangju.

cynthia curran
Reply to  SWAMMER
1 year ago

Boy, too bad for Baker a 1:08 in long course breast and a 59 in long course back, but good for Eastin. At least Eastin finally got a break and at least made a long course world team. Not her best event, probably more likely 400 Im.

Reply to  cynthia curran
1 year ago

59.0 is fast in season. And a 1:08 breast is nothing to scoff at for someone who doesn’t even swim breaststroke outside IM.

Reply to  DMacNCheez
1 year ago

She was a :59 in 100 Breaststroke SCY in high school. Her breaststroke is solid. I hope to see her swim more 2IMs.

Reply to  DMacNCheez
1 year ago

I don’t think anyone was scoffing

1 year ago

I guess I’m not suprised baker dropped the 200im because it’s on the same day as the 100back, now I’m precicting something special from Easton, maybe even beat hosszu, if you all remember arianna kukors, finished 3rd at the world trials in 2009, and was added to the event because trials runnerup Elizabeth Pelton dropped the 200 I’m to focus on the back, and kukors went on to break the world record. Hopping for a 2:07 for Eastin

Reply to  Statman
1 year ago

I immediately thought of this storyline too but I’m a little hesitant because this is the 200IM not the 400IM. 400IM is where Eastin has a better chance to medal, or maybe even challenge for the title on a really really good day. She broke Hosszu’s NCAA record afterall.

This opportunity is immeasurable and makes her heartbreak, and efforts from Pan Pacs despite the illness pay off. Who would have thought this would be the outcome? I’m so happy for her.

Coach Mike 1952
Reply to  Statman
1 year ago

Really, wouldn’t it depend on her ability to effectively taper twice in short order? Anticipating only one big international event this summer, Ella is very likely already in taper mode, & then now this. The logistics make for a tough “double”.

Team USA Athlete
Reply to  Coach Mike 1952
1 year ago

Probably she has known about this for a few weeks but it hasn’t been official. She is probably in atleast a bit of contact with baker and knew about it before the official announcement.

1 year ago

Kathleen Baker rn

comment image

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

Read More »